Saturday, January 28, 2012

Book Review: Family by Design by Heather Justensen

Family by Design by Heather Justensen was a wonderful story about how two single best friends, Tucker and Rena come together to make a family work. With the unexpected news that Tucker's brother and sister in law are killed in a car accident, their children Derek and McKenzie left in Tucker's care, since there are no other living realtives on either side to do it.

They are both in their thirties, and Tucker being in the Marine reserves must find some one who can be his wife and a mother to the children before they can be adopted and kept in his custody. The concern being that the children have a stable home if he is called into active duty. So who else does Tucker turn to but his very best friend Rena.

But questions of eternity linger in their minds, knowing that if this marriage is going to work it can't be just in name only. But what about love... real love? Sure they love each other as best friends but as husband and wife? Would their deep friendship be destroyed in the process or grow stronger as a result.

So when Tucker proposes, not only does it take Rena by surprise, but the time frame of when they need to be married by does too. And it raises concerns for everyone with the speed of things. Not to mention if they love LOVE each other. But with a few of the toe curling, steamy, tingley down your spine kind of kisses Tucker gives Rena, she is sure the true love Tucker promises will come sooner than later and puts some of Rena's uncertainties to rest after all she has always wanted to have a family, and she does love Tucker.

And when the deal is sealed and the unthinkable happens, it puts this family to the test as each struggle to keep on top of the different mounting events that work to topple them, as Rena's strength is put to the ultimate test. Does she get pulled under by it all or does she rise like a pheonix in the sky? And can the tentative feelings between Tucker and Rena hold fast or crumble beneath the burdens?

I loved Family by Design. It was a great story of resiliance, strength, faith and trust and dreams come true sprinked with lots of humor along the way. I thought it was so well written with characters who felt real to me. They were struggling with real issues that result in different lives being interupted and then meshed together. The way they dealt with the different conflicts that arose through out Family By Design was great to see. Doubts, fears, frusteration, as well as joy, contentment and peace all find their place in this story as characters all grow through the difficult times. Even the children struggle with thier own issues in dealing with the loss of thier parents. Each character learns to rely on thier faith and Heavenly Father. And in the meantime they become stronger because of it.

And if that isn't enough then you have to check out this blurb and fall even more in love with the story premise:

Before he could think better of it, he blurted out, “I understand your concerns. I’m going to speak to my commander about getting an early discharge. My girlfriend, Rena, and I have talked about getting married. There just hasn’t been any rush.”
As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he wondered what he was thinking. Yes, they had discussed marriage, but not to each other! He and Rena had never even dated.

Tucker’s on his way to the biggest challenge of his life. Rena already has it all—except a family of her own. But neither one expected their friendship would take such a dramatic turn.

When Tucker becomes the guardian of his newly orphaned niece and nephew, he knows he can’t handle them alone, not when he might be shipped out with the Marines at any moment. Desperate, he turns to Rena for a major favor. His marriage proposal would give her everything she wants, but can she learn to live without the romance she’s always dreamed of?As time, prayer, and a life-changing kiss work a little magic in her heart, Rena wonders if someone up there has a plan for her that’s better than anything she could’ve come up with on her own. And though it seems crazy at first, this could become her chance for a marriage that will last for eternity.

Also, as a special promotion for anyone who buys a book before January 31, you can get a free ebook for her companion novella, “Shear Luck.” Once you buy a copy of her book go here (link) to get your free copy.

As if that weren’t enough, Heather’s holding a host of giveaways on her blog throughout the next few weeks, see the rules at the bottom of this post to enter.

Chelsea Robison has never forgotten the older boy next door whom she crushed on as a teen, so when she runs into him at the restaurant he’s preparing to open, it’s a delightful shock. And learning he’s available again is more than a little tantalizing.

Vaughn Krenshaw had never seen his neighbor as more than a nice kid—but Chelsea had definitely grown up in the decade since they saw each other last. He’s attracted to the feisty red head, but still struggles over his wife’s death the previous year. And then there’s his five-year-old daughter, Molly, who really liked Chelsea—until she realized the woman was dating her dad.

As Chelsea starts to wonder if their love for each other will be enough to make things work, a specter from Vaughn’s past rises, making her question whether she really knew him at all.

You will fall in love with each of the characters in Family by Design as much as I did. I found myself wishing the story would go on longer. It was a great read. A clean read and great for 12 on up. Don't delay get your copy here now so you can get the copy of Sheer Luck before January has slipped away.

Disclaimer: Although at times I do receive free copies of the books I reveiw, my opinions are and will always remain my own.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Book Review: Darkspell by Elizabeth Mueller

Darkspell By Elizabeth Mueller is a young adult paranormal romance, and let me tell you it is one to pick up and read!

Darkspell is about an average everyday girl named Winter who is looking forward to starting her senior year in high school. Then she dreams of kissing an amazing boy, and upon the rude awakening of her brother, she discovers that very hot, delicious boy named Alex has just moved into her favorite old empty house. And boy what a fabulous surprise. She finds every excuse to hang out there, and soon finds that her heart is fast approaching being lost to him.

Little does Winter know that along the way to losing her heart that there is so much more to Alex than she can imagine, that Alex is her protector, and that he wants to be sure that she is kept safe from the things she doesn't understand. That like Winter he is losing his heart to her as well.

But then niether Alex or Winter anticipate the way Alex's brother Jareth mixes things up. And if that isn't enough, Winter notices things about Alex and his family that are a little off the beaten path. Things that they shouldn't be able to do that they can, and she embarks on a path to discover what it is that makes them so different. But little does Winter know that along that path are dark and dangerous things that slide in to take her off guard and throw unexpected impossible events into her life. And most unexpected of all is what she discovers about herelf.

Darkspell wove a spell around me and kept me wondering what was going to happen next. Who would be left standing at the end, and who would ultimately win Winter's heart. It was filled with sinister evil and extra ordinary events that took my breath away and at times made my stomache drop in anticipation. I loved how every character in Elizabeth's Darkspell was able to intice me to fall for them. Ok, all but one, but hey you aren't supposed to love the bad guy.

I loved going into the alternate worlds created in Darkspell and the way the characters evolved and expressed who they were so intrinsically that you felt you knew them. You knew their hearts, and their desires. I also really loved all the unexpected surprises. Not to mention the out of this world illustrations drawn by Elizabeth herself.

I found that I was waiting, wondering what would happen to the end, who would truimph ultimately, who would still be standing and who would rise above the ashes so to speak. I really loved Darkspell with all its glorious magic and mysterious mystical events. I didn't want it to end and once you pick up Darkspell and begin reading it, niether will you.

So what are you waiting for? Hurry and get your copy of Darkspell by clicking here and here and you can learn more about the talented and amazing Elizabeth by clicking on her website here. You can also find Elizabeth at Goodreads here and on twitter here.

And don't forget to keep your eye out for the sequel to Darkspell coming soon!

Disclaimer: while I do sometimes recieve copies of books to review, my opinions are and will always remain my own.